Published April 11, 2019 by the Central Office
View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).
An April snowstorm is bearing down on portions of Wisconsin. The storm dropped 8 to 10 inches of snow in areas of central Wisconsin Wednesday into Thursday and was forecast to drop a foot or more Thursday night into Friday in northern Wisconsin. The southern part of the state received minor snow followed by rain.
The storm arrived just a couple of days after much of the state enjoyed sunny warm weather with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. During that time fire danger levels were elevated and 26 wildfire were reported. The snow and rain has danger levels to low, but as temperature rise again and things dry out, danger levels could rise rapidly.
Walleye fisherman are starting to flock to the Peshtigo, Oconto and Menominee rivers. The walleye spawning run on the Winnebago System is well underway. DNR fisheries staff and volunteers tagged around 2,000 adult male and 1,000 adult female walleye on the Wolf River. There were many boats on the lower Fox River this past weekend with a good catch reported by most anglers. There is still ice on some bays of Green Bay but others are opening. Docks were put in this week at Sawyer Harbor launch and Baileys Harbor.
Spring runs are continuing on Lake Michigan tributaries with some steelhead and brown trout caught. The Manitowoc River is still high and faster than normal making fishing a struggle. The Branch River is still producing steelhead. The East Twin River was producing a mixed bag of fish at the dam. Anglers were fishing along the Sheboygan River with a few steelhead caught. Fishing efforts on the Milwaukee river have been up over the past week and anglers are having success with steelhead, musky and smallmouth bass. Fishing activity on the Root and Pike rivers has been a lot lighter compared to the past few weeks.
Kids 15-years-old and younger can discover the fun of fishing at free Kids' Fishing Clinics on this Saturday at 14 park ponds and lagoons in Milwaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties. Participants receive instruction on equipment and techniques, knot tying, safety and much more, and then can fish afterward.
Large flocks of turkeys are beginning to break up and strutting toms have been seen at all hours of the day. Youths across the state will take to the woods this weekend for the youth hunt. Young turkey hunters who are prepared and ready for the cold Saturday opener should have a good chance for success. Some learn to hunts events last weekend had over 50 percent success rates.
Woodcock are peenting. Black bears are being seen in many locations. Barred owls have been aggressively trading territorial calls during the early night hours. With ice still on many northern lakes, common loons are stacking up a bit, including a count of 52 at Rice Lake and dozens on southern lakes such as those around Madison.
Maple sap is still flowing in the north but is about done in central and southern areas. Red maples are beginning to bud. The aspens are budding also. Spring peepers are calling. The first hepatica, blood root and pasque flowers of the year had begun to emerge in southern Wisconsin before the snow and rain arrived.
Another April snowstorm is bearing down on portions of Wisconsin and the upper Midwest. Although such spring snowstorms are common in Wisconsin, the impacts on early avian migrants can be significant if the snow is deep and persists for more than a couple days. Getting snow near you? Here are some of the best ways you can help birds through the adverse conditions. Birders are already reporting large numbers of birds at feeders in areas where 3-12" of snow has fallen so far, including many dark-eyed juncos, sparrows, cardinals, chickadees, blackbirds, robins, woodpeckers, and others.
Preceding the storm, last weekend saw the biggest migration event of the season thus far. As a result, sparrows are showing well now with song, fox, savannah, swamp, and the first chipping and white-throated sparrows in the south. Eastern towhees were also reported in good numbers there, as well as a few brown thrashers starting to move in. Purple finches became more prevalent in many areas, while many birders were excited to find their first yellow-rumped warblers of the year. Northern flickers, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, and golden-crowned kinglets were also especially common, with a few ruby-crowned kinglets and eastern phoebes now also. Common loons are stacking up a bit, including a nice count of 52 at Rice Lake, Barron County, and dozens on southern lakes such as those around Madison. Also showing well in some locations were American white pelicans. Thawing wetlands hosted the first American bitterns, Virginia rails, and soras, and the first black-necked stilts have returned to Horicon Marsh. Duck migration continues full tilt wherever open water allows, many wood ducks, hooded mergansers, and Canada geese already getting down the business of egg laying.
The week's rarest find was a Eurasian wigeon in Chippewa county. Look for modest migration conditions in the week ahead as the weather pattern looks a bit unsettled with no dominant southerly winds, save for perhaps Monday into Tuesday. Wondering when to get ready for the first Baltimore orioles and ruby-throated hummingbirds? The last week of April in the south and first week of May up north. Find out what others are seeing and report your finds to www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland
Clear snow to expose bare ground and offer white millet, cracked corn, and sunflower seed for ground-feeding birds like these fox, white-throated, and song sparrows. Photo by Ryan Brady.
Most birds migrate at night. This radar image from 4am on the morning of Sunday, April 7, shows rain to the west and north and northbound birds everywhere else. Graphic courtesy of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
A total of 26 wildfires burned in DNR Protection Areas over the past week, burning 73 acres. Half of the fires were caused by debris burning. Eleven buildings were threatened and one was destroyed. Widespread rain and snow then lowered fire danger across the state.
Spring is wildfire season and it's important to remember that storm systems bringing snow and rain give a short reprieve in fire danger. While burning debris should always be your last alternative, the safest time to burn leaves, brush and pine needles is when the ground is completely snow-covered and will remain so for the duration of the burn.
As things dry out, expect fire danger to increase. There is plenty of dead grass and fallen leaves on the land that makes it easy for a wildfire to start and spread. Stay apprised of fire weather conditions by checking the DNR fire danger webpage each day after 11 a.m.: dnr.wi.gov, keyword "'fire".
Firewise Tip: Remove leaves and other debris that has accumulated next to buildings, in lawns, and on and under decks. Take special care to clean out dead material from evergreen shrubs near buildings. Compost these materials or take to a leaf collection site.
Mirror Lake State Park is kicking of this year's series of Work*Play*Earth Day Events this Saturday. Come out and help the Friend's group and other volunteers get the park ready for the busy upcoming season. Have a Family Wild Day out at Devil's Lake where family members can play nature-based games, create woodland crafts, light fires, cook over a fire or make dens and shelters. To celebrate National Volunteer Week, the George W. Mead Wildlife Area will be hosting an Open House and Volunteer Social Event with kids' activities, tours, and more. Frog calling has started in earnest in the south and the Southern Kettle Moraine will be holding frog hikes both Saturday and Sunday.
Click on the links below for highlighted programs this weekend or click on Get Outdoors," for a complete listing of events.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Saturday & Sunday, April 13-14, 2019
Sunday, April 14, 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019
For all events search Get Outdoors
April 13, 9 a.m.-noon - Bluff Creek Workday: Cutting buckthorn - Come enjoy the spring weather and help volunteers during our monthly Southern Kettle Moraine SNA workdays on the second Saturday. Enjoy a short hike, then help cut and pile brush, learn something, meet knowledgeable people, and enjoy the beauty of this fen area in the process. We will remove buckthorn that can spread and shade out rare fen and savanna plants at this site.
No skills needed you will be trained onsite. Check the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program page of the DNR website for details. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane
Ashland DNR Service Center area
Iron County - They say in Iron County that winter isn't over until the American robin has been snow on three times. I don't know if the two small blizzards we had recently counted, but if so this next blast of snowfall will hopefully be our last. Roadsides, fields and tree wells have opened up releasing grass growth potential. Juncos, goldfinch, robins, and even an osprey have returned to the county. Redpolls are declining as they finish their migration northward into Canada. Swans, geese and hundreds of ducks have been observed on open water. Turkeys seem to have faired the winter well and are commonly seen roadside. If youth turkey hunters are prepared and are ready for the cold Saturday opener ahead, there's a good chance for success. And for those youth waiting for better weather, Sunday offers sun and warmer temperatures. If you dress appropriately and don't get wet (wear plastic bags over your socks if you have to!), hunting in poor conditions can result in some of the best hunts. - Jenna Kosnicki, wildlife biologist, Mercer
Spooner DNR Service Center area
Crex Meadows State Wildlife - We are seeing a large increase in wildlife activity this week. Black bears are being seen in many locations around the area, new species of waterfowl arrive almost daily, and many other migrants are returning as well. - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Flambeau River State Forest - robins, red-winged blackbirds, mourning doves, kestrel hawks, geese, cranes, swans, a variety of ducks and a copper butterfly was seen. Snowshoe hare and weasel coats are turning, river otters are giving birth; tics are active and the maple sap is still flowing but the red maples are beginning to bud. The aspens are budding also. Elk bulls have been dropping their antlers and antler hunters are combing the woods to find them. The weather forecast for week end calls for a chance of rain/snow with a high of 41 and a low of 29 Friday. Saturday, chance of a wintry mix, with a high of 40 and a low of 22. Sunday, partly sunny with a slight chance of rain after 1pm with a high of 43 and a low of 26. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate
Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - The forest saw a lot of snow loss this past week, especially on the south facing slopes and swamps but Mother Nature may put an end to that with the snow forecasted with the upcoming storm. The newly arrived robins and juncos will be struggling for open ground. Flocks of redpolls and evening grosbeaks are still being seen at area feeders, and even a rare cardinal can be heard calling. Squirrels are very busy with their spring rituals and chipmunks are out and about. Ruffed grouse and deer have been spotted along roadsides and pussy willows are starting to bloom in standing water. Spring is trying to gain some ground! - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Marinette County - The Peshtigo River had high fishing pressure at the boat landing on County Hwy. BB and the Municipal launch in Peshtigo. As of April 7 the boat landing at the mouth of the Peshtigo was unavailable because of ice. Lots of anglers fishing below the dam in Peshtigo. Overall fishing was slow for walleyes throughout the river with boat anglers doing slightly better by the Hwy. 41 bridge. The Menominee River had high fishing pressure also with many boat trailers at Stephenson Island, Mystery Ship, and Boom landings. The landings at Menekaunee Harbor, Menominee Lighthouse, 6th St. and Little River are still closed due to ice. Shore anglers were in high numbers on Stephenson Island, below Hattie St. dam, and on the Hattie St. bridge. Overall walleye fishing was a little better at the mouth of the Menominee but still slow. A few brown trout are being caught also mainly from Boom Landing upstream. - Scott Poquette, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Oconto County - There has been heavy fishing pressure at Stiles Dam downstream to Hwy. 141 bridge. Overall fishing for walleyes was slow. Only a few fish reported caught with accidental foul hooked fish reported also. Heavy fishing pressure also on the lower river. Full parking lots at the city dock and breakwall ramp on the lower Oconto River. Most anglers reporting slow fishing with minimal catches for walleyes. Some white suckers were reported caught at the mouth and in the Oconto River. As of April 6 the Oconto Park II launch was still unavailable because of ice; however, the river mouths have open water with ice still present on the bay. - Scott Poquette, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Ice still present near the Geano Beach ramp; may be open soon. No fishing pressure observed. - Jeremiah Shrovnal, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Brown County - Many boats on the Fox River this past weekend with a good catch reported by most anglers. Lots of walleye catches reported in mid-to-upper 20-inch size range. The fairgrounds and Fox Point both saw heavy traffic, while more anglers were seen utilizing the Metro launch even without the docks in. Catches reported the whole length of the river, with a few anglers reporting good luck on the Bay as well. River temps were around 38 all weekend. Some Suamico River shore anglers observed for a short fishing trip with no luck yet. - Jeremiah Shrovnal, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Door County - Overall fishing was slow in Northern Door County. The bay still has ice on it; however, it seems like the ice conditions are worsen by the day. When looking down on the bay from a higher vantage point you're able to see all the pockets of open water. Anyone venturing out on the ice this late in the year needs to use extreme caution. The city of Sturgeon Bay put the docks in this week at Sawyer Harbor launch. The docks are in at Baileys Harbor and the anglers are taking advantage. Few of the reports are brown trout and steelhead are being caught trolling by Heins Creek. Water temps on inside Bailey's Harbor was 38 degrees. Stream fishing is still slow throughout northern Door County, with only a few anglers trying their luck. Reibolt Creek was 38 degrees as well. - Cody Flavionl, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Manitowoc County - The Manitowoc River is still high and has a faster than normal flow to it in areas. Steelhead fishing was a struggle for most anglers, who reported not having any luck. There were two anglers dip netting for suckers at Cato Falls, but had no fish to show. The Branch River is still producing steelhead. The flow and water levels are perfect for fishing. The fish caught came on spawn. The docks are put in at the Manitowoc Marina, with boaters come in with mixed results. It seems most of the fish that were caught were south of Manitowoc. The East Twin River is producing a mixed bag of fish at the dam. Anglers have caught steelhead, northern pike, suckers, and smallmouth bass. Fish are being caught using multiple different tactics, including spoons, minnows, spawn, crankbait, and beads. Steelhead fishing at Shoto appears to have decreased compared to last week when talking to anglers, but fish are still be caught. Spawn sacs and spoons have been effective according to anglers. The docks are put in at Vets Park in Two Rivers. Seagull Marina docks are not put in yet, however the launch is still accessible. - Cody Flavionl, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Marinette County - Woodcock are peenting and spring peepers are calling. Spring has arrived in Marinette county. Large flocks of turkeys are beginning to break up and strutting toms can be seen at all hours of the day right now. This weekend saw the first turkey harvest of the year as a local conservation group held a learn to hunt for first time turkey hunters. Youth across the state will soon take to the woods in search of a male or bearded bird for this weekend's youth turkey hunt. A few snakes have been seen sunning themselves on roads. Walleye fisherman are starting to flock to the Peshtigo and Menominee rivers with a few fish being caught. Every county in the state held an annual spring hearing on Monday night. New this year is an online voting option that will remain open until Thursday April 11 at 7 p.m.. If you would like to provide input on questions or just learn more about the hearings, search 'Spring Hearings' on the DNR webpage. - Aaron McCullough, wildlife technician, Wausaukee
Oconto County - In Oconto county the walleye run is occurring on the Oconto River. Individuals have caught suckers there too. There are reports of trout and salmon also being caught in the river and bay. Turkeys have been seen fanning out in open fields and local learn to hunts have had over 50 % success rate in hunts last weekend. With upcoming snow tonight and tomorrow hunting and fishing may become poor. Next few weeks look to be nice though. Multiple song birds are also being seen and plants are starting to bud out. - Paul Hartrick, conservation warden, Oconto Falls
Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area
Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility - Weekly Report - Two steelhead rainbow trout processing days have occurred this spring (2019) on the Kewaunee River at the Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility (BAFF) on April 1 and 8. Numbers of new steelhead processed each day respectively were 206 and 211 (total 417). These steelhead were sorted by genetic strain, with Chambers Creek and Ganaraska kept in holding ponds for upcoming egg collections. The first egg collection at BAFF is scheduled for Wednesday April 10. Fish are not being passed upstream of the dam, but instead are released down at the harbor. - Michael Baumgartner, fisheries technician, Kewaunee
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Walleyes on the upper Fox River are done spawning and good catches of fish have been reported. Walleyes on the Wolf River are actively spawning now and are leaving the marshes. Anglers have been doing their best with a minnow and jig for bait. There are a lot of great bird viewing opportunities - especially in the Shiocton area. Thousands of migrating waterfowl can been seen as they rest and feed in area fields. Turkey youth season is this coming weekend. You may hear shots or see new hunters while they pursue turkeys. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma
Greenup just starting Wautoma on south. Maple trees just starting to pop buds, sap tapping is about at the end of the road for this year. Most lakes are now ice free and water levels are very high. The only new bird arrival I noted this week was a meadowlark. Turkeys are very bunched up yet and gobblers are displaying like crazy. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
Oshkosh DNR Service Center area
Lake Winnebago System
Walleye spawning run on the Winnebago System is well underway. DNR fisheries staff and volunteers have floy tagged around 2,000 adult male and 1,000 adult female walleye on the Wolf River. Some anglers have been experiencing a tough bite over the last few days as fish are concentrated in the marshes spawning, but fishing should get better as fish start moving out of marshes to make their way back downstream. (Adam may want to add more here) Remember, if you happen to catch a tagged walleye, yellow perch, bass, or northern pike please either mail the catch information to the Oshkosh DNR office (625 East County Road Y, Oshkosh WI 54901), email it to DNRWINNEBAGOSYSTEMTAGRETURNS@wisconsin.gov, or call 920-303-5429. Sturgeon usually spawn on the Wolf River sometime between April 15-May 5 and the timing in that window is really temperature dependent. Fish usually spawn at 52-60 degree water temperatures and the Wolf River temp was up to 48 degrees April 8. There is some cold weather coming in over the next few days, which will drop water temperatures and I'd expect that we are still about 2 weeks away from spawning getting underway, potentially longer. Good luck fishing and be safe on the water! - Ryan Koenigs and Adam Nickel, fisheries biologists, Oshkosh
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Kids 15-years-old and younger can discover the fun of fishing at Kids' Fishing Clinics on Saturday, April 13, at 14 park ponds and lagoons in Milwaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties. The free clinics run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and begin every hour on the hour, with the last one starting at 2 p.m. Participants receive instruction on the proper use of equipment and techniques, knot tying, safety and much more, and then can fish afterward. The clinics are a cooperative effort by the Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations, Milwaukee, Washington and Waukesha county park departments, the Hunger Task Force Fish Hatchery, and DNR. Get locations and more details [PDF]
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Sheboygan County - Strong winds from the west were making it difficult to fish. Boaters were able to catch a few brown trout. Despite fog on Saturday morning, anglers had some success catching browns by boat and from the south pier, with some suckers also being seen. A few anglers fly fished and casted along the Pigeon River, still running cold and clear, but no catches were recorded. Sunday morning was clearer but hazy and a bit chilly. The majority of anglers were boating nearshore, spread out across Sheboygan waters. The rest were fishing along the south pier. A few browns, a steelhead, and a sucker were recorded between both groups. Anglers were fishing along the entire stretch of the Sheboygan River, from the Roy Sebald Natural Area and Esslingen Park to River Wildlife and into Sheboygan. A few steelhead were caught earlier in the morning. Sunday morning, hazy and cloudy, saw similar activity to lesser success, although the river was warmer (48 degrees). The Pigeon was still cold (44 degrees) and had few anglers fishing it on Sunday. - Timothy Anton Urbaniak, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Ozaukee County - A steelhead and a few suckers were caught at the power plant outflow and at Sauk Creek, with anglers mentioning steelhead and browns being caught earlier in the week. Spawn sacks were the preferred bait. Sauk Creek was colder than other waterways in the area, reaching 43 degrees. Although there was evidence of caught fish and sightings of steelhead running through Sauk Creek, no catches were recorded. A dense fog rolled in Saturday morning but did not deter anglers from fishing along Sauk Creek, at the outflow, and by boat. Despite the increased effort, no catches were recorded. - Timothy Anton Urbaniak, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Milwaukee County - Fishing efforts on the Milwaukee river have been up over the past week and anglers are having success with steelheads, musky, and smallmouth bass. Those fishing at Kletzsch Park were catching a good number of large steelhead, while anglers near North Ave had fun catching and releasing many large smallmouth bass. Angling efforts have been decreasing on the Menomonee River, especially with the beginning of baseball season. Those that were out were targeting steelhead, but none were caught. Northern pike were being caught in small numbers. The McKinley Marina ramp saw some action this weekend, with boats bringing in a fair amount of brown and lake trout. The lake trout being caught were of good size, while the browns were smaller. Very little fishing effort was seen on the pier. Perch fishermen were having a bit of success under the Hoan, but the perch were relatively small. Those fishing in Lakeshore State Park and near Discovery World were targeting steelheads, but few were caught over the course of the week. The Riverfront ramp was quite busy this week, with both anglers and pleasure-boaters enjoying the nice weather. The boats that came in reported little success with brown trout, but did catch a few small ones near Lakeshore State Park. Smelt fishermen/women at Jones Island had a busy weekend but trout fishing was almost non-existent during survey times. The South Shore and Bender Park ramps saw a little action this week, with boats coming in with small numbers of brown trout and coho. Most fish were caught near the power plant discharge. Water levels are still down at Oak Creek, so anglers targeting steelhead did not have much luck. A few small steelhead were caught here-and-there, along with a few suckers - but hopefully this coming week will be better thanks to all the rain we got on Sunday. - Jessica Grace Jenkins, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Racine County - Fishing pressure started to pick up on the shores and piers of Lake Michigan. It was a little nicer out than it had been the past few weeks. The Pershing Park boat launch saw significantly more activity over the weekend than over past weekends. Fishing activity on the Root River has been a lot lighter compared to activity from the past few weeks. Fishing activity below the steelhead facility is still much heavier than above the facility. A few steelhead are being caught in equal amounts both above and below the facility. Water clarity is still fairly low in most spots of the river while water current remains high. The water temperature was about 45 degrees. There have also been many unidentified sucker sightings and catching's too numerous to count. Fishing activity along the shores and piers of Racine saw a slight increase in activity over the past few days. The weather improved as spring starts to come along. The wind had died down significantly, so the waves weren't breaking over the tops of the piers like they had been. One brown trout was caught and kept on the piers during this time. Spoons seem to be the most popular bait at this time. Activity on the Racine ramp increased significantly as well. Most of the activity occurred on Saturday, April 6. The water was fairly calm, and the sun was out. Coho salmon were a commonly targeted species, but none were caught. Only lake trout and brown trout were caught between several boats, with most of the brown trout being kept. One 26-pound brown trout was caught and released. - Andrew Krecak,fisheries technician, Sturtevant
Kenosha County - Fishing activity on the Pike River has dropped off significantly with very few people having been seen fishing on the river. The majority of the sightings came from people fishing at the mouth of the river. A few steelhead were caught at the mouth of the river. Activity on the Kenosha piers and shores has slowed down slightly. Not as many people were fishing over the past few days compared to the amount of activity from the past few weeks. A few brown trout were caught on spoons and tube jigs. Brown trout remain the fish species being the most targeted. The amount of boat trailers at the ramp in Kenosha remains low. Only a few boat trailers were counted over the course of a few days. - Andrew Krecak,fisheries technician, Sturtevant
Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit - This week Northern Unit received about an inch of snow making trail conditions soft and wet. The horse and mountain bike trails are closed at this time while we wait for trails to dry out from the recent snow/rain mix. Anyone looking to bike or wanting a dry place to hike should checkout the gravel 6.5 mile Lake to Lake trail that traverses some of Northern Unit's scenic terrain in the Dundee, WI area. The Lake to lake trail is open south of Headquarters Road and north of Forest Headquarters Road, through Dundee, until County Hwy F. The section from County Hwy F to Long Lake remains closed for boardwalk repairs. There still is a detour of the Ice Age Trail, between County Hwy V and Scenic Dr, onto the horse trail in this same section. Staff this week have been seeing red-wing black birds, robins, common loons, sandhill cranes, white-breasted nuthatch, common & hooded mergansers, and other species in the Mauthe Lake area. Visitors reporting through ebird.org (exit DNR) have been seeing many more species throughout Northern Unit's 30,000+ acres of diverse habitat. All campsites at Mauthe Lake Campground are now reservable for nights April 12th and onward through the state's reservation website. The Mauthe Lake campground is open for camping but water facilities are still closed until temperatures get consistently warmer, except the spigot behind the entrance booth. - James Enigl, park ranger
Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Lake Wissota State Park - Species of birds seen or heard include: crows, turkeys, northern juncos, chickadees, nuthatches, red headed and pileated woodpeckers, sandhill cranes, Canada geese, robins, and barred owls, mourning doves, and blue jays. The bald eagles are moving back into the area and have been seen feeding along the roadsides. The barred owls have been aggressively trading territorial calls during the early night hours. Sugar maple tapping is in progress throughout the area. The woodlands are still holding snow, with the frost leaving the ground in some areas. Most of our trails are thawing and are wet, soft and have some icy patches. The horse trails remain closed. Wet weather is in the forecast including snow. - Dave Hladilek, park manager